ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — Seven on seven football is a high-speed game. This weekend, a group of high school players from throughout the state started their practices for their upcoming traveling tournaments.
Inside the UC Health Training Center, the athletes run plays, compete in drills and receive instructions from the Warrior Elite coaches.
“It gives these kids an opportunity to work on their craft. We keep it all in perspective, right? It’s 7 on 7, we want to give them more tools for their tool belt to take back,” said Jeremy Bennett, Associate Head Coach and Co-Founder of Warrior Elite Football.
The tools and skills are important, but the main mission is to help the athletes become better by creating a positive culture through football.
“Culture for us is a big deal, we’re going to coach the kids hard, but we’re going to understand that every one of their thumbprints are different, we’re going to treat kids as individuals and bring them together as a team,” Bennett said.
Malakai Nowlin is in his first year playing for the traveling team. Being from Colorado Springs he sometimes feels overlooked, so he is excited for the opportunity.
“This is a great opportunity to get better, feel what it’s like to actually do 7 on 7 stuff and be a part of a good program,” said Malakai Nowlin
This opportunity for players like Nowlin is rare. Athletes must be selected to join the Warriors, and they receive coaching from professional players, college players and longtime high school coaches.
“It’s really about putting men of character and coaches around these kids just to get another perspective,” said Coach Bennett.
Players like Zach Lewis use that coaching experience and unique perspective to get better.
“It’s so many people that have experience that you can just build upon so well, like Nate Irving for example, he can teach you so much,” said Zach Lewis.
The team will play in four tournaments this year throughout the country, and they have high hopes for their season.
“We’re legit because a lot of people are sleeping on us so that’s a big thing for me is win one of those national tournaments,” said Lewis.
The team will compete in four tournaments this year, including in Atlanta, North Carolina and here in Colorado.